The average cost of a bariatric surgery is nearly $30,000, according to a recent study from Johns Hopkins University.
Like all surgeries, weight-loss surgery carries its own set of possible risks, including bleeding, blood clots, infection and leaks from sites where body tissues are sewn or stapled together, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Later complications may include malnutrition, hernias and a tendency in about one in 10 people to regain much of the weight they lost as a result of the procedure.
In Campos' study, roughly equal numbers of patients in each group experienced complications after one year (12 percent in the gastric bypass group compared to 15 percent in the lap-banding group); these included infection, internal bleeding and blood clots, but no deaths. More people in the bypass group had complications right after the surgery. More of those undergoing lap-banding, however, needed repeat surgeries (13 percent vs. 2 percent).
The second study, conducted in Taiwan and led by Dr. Wei-Jei Lee of the Min-Sheng General Hospital, involved randomly assigning 60 obese (but not morbidly obese) patients with type 2 diabetes to receive gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy.
Almost all of those undergoing gastric bypass surgery (93 percent) had their diabetes resolved, vs. only half in the other group (these numbers declined to 57 percent and 0 percent after a year).
Those in the gastric bypass group also lost more weight, and there were no serious complications in either group.
There are various theories to explain why gastric bypass may be superior, including one that attributes the success to changes in hormones that control the metabolism of blood sugar.
And certain procedures may s
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